Botany: (first circle)

Need for lesson - Parts of a mushroom and mushroom growing kit.

Index File Card

can be pasted onto an index file card for quick reference


Botany 38

We have recently found out about fungi. What makes fungi different from plants? We have some bread set aside in different ways to see if the spores that are in the air will grow mold, a kind of fungus. We can check on them to see if anything is happening.

Another kind of fungi that we want to talk about is the mushroom. All over the world, people eat mushrooms and there are many different kinds of mushrooms. Mushrooms come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. How many of you like to eat mushrooms? There are some animals like pigs, cows, deer, moose, and squirrels that like to eat mushrooms too. 

Mushrooms are a kind of fungus. They begin to grow from spores. They like to live in damp, dark places because they do not need the sunlight to grow. Mushrooms can look strange and have funny names. Some kinds of mushrooms are hedgehog, lobster, old man of the woods, and hen of the woods. Some mushrooms even glow in the dark!

Let's look at the parts of a gilled mushroom. Not all mushrooms look like this one. Some look like balls, coral, or fans. We have the cap, gills, ring, stalk, and hyphae. The cap of a mushroom is the part that sticks up above the surface and is the most colorful part. It can be shaped like a cup, a shelf, or an umbrella. The underside of the cap are the gills. On the gills are the millions of spores that fall to the ground or are carried by the wind to other places. This is the stalk and the hyphae. The hyphae part of the mushroom acts like the stem, leaves, and roots of green plants by taking in food to help the mushroom to grow.

There are some people who like to go mushroom hunting. They look in places like forests to find mushrooms. Some mushrooms are poisonous. Those who go mushroom hunting have studied about mushrooms and know which ones are safe to eat and which ones are not. Most of the mushrooms we eat, come from mushroom farms. We are going to try and grow some mushrooms of our own.

Follow kit directions and discuss with the children what you are doing.



Parts of a Mushroom

Additional Works:

Spore Prints - Cut off the leg or stalk of a mushroom. Place the cap on a piece of white paper, gill side down. Cover the cap with a drinking glass. Leave it alone for 2-24 hrs. You will find a beautiful print on the paper!

Mushroom Coloring


Coloring Page


Mushroom Prints - Provide paints, paper and a variety of mushrooms for the children to make prints with.

Mushrooms - These are made using an egg carton piece and a cork.


Mushroom Prints



Zoology: (second circle)

Need for lesson - Pictures of echinoderms.

Index File Card

can be pasted onto an index file card for quick reference


Zoology 46

We are learning about oceans and some of the animals that live in them like crustaceans. Can you think of a kind of crustacean animal? Lobster, crabs, and shrimp are kinds of crustaceans. Starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers are kinds of echinoderms that live in the ocean. Echinoderms are spiny-skinned marine animals. Echinoderms all have skeletons made of bony plates. Most have tiny feet that are hollow like tubes. And all echinoderms have a network of tubes filled with seawater inside their bodies. Echinoderms have at least five arms. The body is in the middle and the arms come out from that.  All echinoderms also have five-point radial symmetry, which means that their body plan has five sections arranged around a central disk. There are some sea stars though that have many more arms, like the sun star, it has about 40 arms!

Echinoderms eat a variety of sea life. Some eat snails, mussels, and clams. Others eat microscopic organisms and  matter that is decaying at the bottom of the ocean.

Many of you know what a starfish looks like. Star fish or sea stars are beautiful. They can be the color orange, red, brown, or pink. Starfish use their feet to crawl along the bottom of the ocean, or the ocean floor. If a starfish looses one of its arms,  it  can grow a new one!  A sea star or starfish has no head. They just have a mouth on the underside of the animals round center.

What about a sand dollar? Have any of you seen a sand dollar?  A sand dollar shell looks sort of like a round white coin, which is where it got its name. Sand dollars are dark in color and covered with short dark spines. The sand dollar uses these spines to move around on the bottom of the ocean and also to push small pieces of food to its mouth.  If you find a sand dollar on the beach and it is white, that is the skeleton of the sand dollar. It is not alive any more if you see a white one. They are very fragile as skeletons.



Sand Dollars

Be sure to express to friends and family about the things you are looking for for your classroom, the larger sand dollar is from my brother-in-law!



Additional Works:

Sea Star Matching - These were gathered from the Internet.

Parts of a Starfish and Booklet - From

Sand Dollar Sequence  - Children can cut out the sand dollar pictures and glue them onto a blue piece of construction paper in order from 1-5 and also smallest to largest.


Starfish Matching


Parts of a Starfish


Starfish Booklet


Sand Dollar Sequence


Sand Dollar Necklaces - Using a sand dollar print, copy onto construction or card stock paper. Mix white sand with glue. Children can paint over the sand dollar with sand/glue mixture and make them into necklaces.

Starfish - Mix tan and light pink color paint with same colored sand. Children can paint starfish with mixture.

Sand Dollar Painting -  Children can water color the sand dollar pictures, cut them out and then brush over them with a watered down glue and sand mixture.

Sand Dollar Printing/Stamping

Starfish Sculptures - Make sand dough and children can make their own starfish. Recipe: 2 C flour, 3/4 C water, 2 -3 C sand, 1 TB white glue. Mix flour with water, knead. Add 1C of the sand and glue. Add remaining sand bit by bit until nice dough consistency.


Sand Dollar Necklaces


Starfish Painting


Sand Dollar Painting


Sand Dollar Printing



Starfish (by - Douglas Florian)

Although it seems that I'm all arms,
Some other organs give me charm.
I have a mouth with which to feed,
A tiny stomach, is all I need.
And though its true, I have no brain,
I'm still a star, and can't complain.